Sophia Loren

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I have never judged myself by other people’s standards. I have always expected a great deal of myself, and if I fail, I fail myself.

Sophia Loren (born 20 September 1934) is Italian actress.


  • I've never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don't understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now.
    • As quoted in Valentines & Vitriol (1977) by Rex Reed
  • I was not intrigued with the accouterments of success and fame, the furs, jewels, expensive automobiles and mansions... I can assure you that these things were not on my mind when I sat spellbound in that Pozzuoli movie house. It was what these performers on the screen were doing, not what they received for doing it.
    • As quoted in Sophia, Living and Loving: Her Own Story (1979) by A. E. Hotchner, p. 63
  • I was blessed with a sense of my own destiny. I have never sold myself short. I have never judged myself by other people’s standards. I have always expected a great deal of myself, and if I fail, I fail myself. So failure or reversal does not bring out resentment in me because I cannot blame others for any misfortune that befalls me.
    • As quoted in Sophia, Living and Loving: Her Own Story (1979) by A. E. Hotchner, p. 76
  • My philosophy is that it's better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe and not to explore at all.
    • As quoted in Sophia, Living and Loving: Her Own Story (1979) by A. E. Hotchner, p. 239
  • A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.
    • Quoted on Good Morning, America ABC TV (10 August 1979)
  • Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.
    • As quoted in Morrow's International Dictionary of Contemporary Quotations (1982) by Jonathon Green, p. 340
  • Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got.
    • As quoted in Halliwell’s Filmgoer’s Companion (1984) Leslie Halliwell
  • Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.
    • As quoted in The Subtlety of Emotions (2001) by Aaron Ben-Ze'ev, p. 204
  • There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age.
    • As quoted in Hope Notes : 52 Meditations to Nudge Your World (2004) by Wayne Willis, p. 11
  • Being beautiful can never hurt, but you have to have more. You have to sparkle, you have to be fun, you have to make your brain work if you have one.
    • As quoted in Bombshell (2004) by Lynda Curnyn, p. 196
  • After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery. It's better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe. Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.
    • Quoted in Words of Wisdom and Quotables Quotes (2007) by Dr. A.N.P. Ummerkutty


  • After the Oscars, I received so much mail and so many compliments from friends. It's a wonderful feeling that people like you and have such esteem for you. I’m enchanted that people talk to me this way. It’s like winning the lottery. (After the 1999 Acadamy Awards)
  • Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.
  • For me, it is good to be vulnerable. It makes me nice... weak sometimes, but in a good way, not a tragic way.
  • Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go so much further than people with vastly superior talent.
  • I am against all war.
  • I can't bear being seen naked. I'm not exactly a tiny woman. When Sophia Loren is naked, this is a lot of nakedness.
  • I still like me, inside and out. Not in a vain way — I just feel good in my skin.
  • I think the quality of sexiness comes from within. It is something that is in you or it isn't and it really doesn't have much to do with breasts or thighs or the pout of your lips.
  • I was not interested in what I could bring to myself by being an actress, but in what I could bring out of myself.
  • I was so skinny, they gave me the nickname stechetto — the stick. I was tall, thin, ugly and dark like an Arab girl. I looked strange. All eyes. No flesh on my bones.
  • I'm a giraffe. I even walk like a giraffe with a long neck and legs. It's a pretty dumb animal, mind you.
  • If you are a professional actor who has pride in his work, then the judgment of your peers should be important to you. I treasure each and every award I have ever received — and my Oscar is in a place of honor.
  • If you haven't cried, your eyes can't be beautiful.
  • Ignorance has its virtues; without it there'd be mighty little conversation.
  • It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.
  • It is very important for an actor or actress to look around at everything and everyone and never forget about real life.
  • It's a mistake to think that once you're done with school you need never learn anything new.
  • No press conference announcing a last film. I'd just steal away. Best way because, if by chance after two or three years something interesting comes up, I would not — like Sinatra — have to say: "Well, I've thought it over and decided to come back."
  • Once I put myself into a thing, I do my utmost, my very, very best.
  • Sex is like washing your face — just something you do because you have to. Sex without love is absolutely ridiculous. Sex follows love, it never precedes it.
  • Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you inhale it like a vacuum cleaner.
  • The facts of life are that a child who has seen war cannot be compared with a child who doesn't know what war is except from television.
  • The most indispensable ingredient of all good home cooking: love, for those you are cooking for.
  • The two big advantages I had at birth were to have been born wise and have been born in poverty.
  • The word "Action!" frees me - the transformation is something I cannot explain - too much analysis might destroy it
  • Though poor and anxious to work, I refused to alter anything. They would take me as I looked or not at all…. Eventually I profited by looking like myself and not like what was fashionable years ago with certain film technicians in Rome.
  • To prepare for the part I opened the sluices of my memory, letting the bombing raids, the nights in the tunnel, the killings, the rapes and starvation and inhumanity wash back over me. I particularly concentrated on my mother as I remembered her during the war, her fears, connivances and sacrifices, and especially the way she fiercely protected us against the scourges of the war. (On her role in Two Women)
  • When I was a child, fear was common to my life — fear of having nothing to eat, fear of the other children taunting me at school because I was illegitimate, and particularly fear of the big bombers appearing overhead and dropping their lethal bursts from the sky.
  • When the lights went down and I was alone with Rita or Linda or Tyrone, I was suffused with the feeling that that’s what I was put on earth to do, to act, to express myself, to let out whatever feelings I had inside….
  • When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.
  • Without my mother’s ambition, her drive, I doubt that on my own I would have pushed myself out of Pozzuoli and into the frightening world that was faraway Rome.
  • You have to be born a sex symbol. You don't become one. If you're born with it, you'll have it even when you're 100 years old.

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